I’ve got a thing for finger food. Or tapas. Small bites. Whatever you want to call them, I could easily have each and every party I throw be made up of teeny bites of this and that. And the bite I’m into right now are these Spicy Citrus Pickled Shrimp.
My latest finger food obsession hails from the South but dispels all the Southern food stereotypes because it’s really light and pretty healthy. Pickled shrimp are a classic in the Carolinas, but I’ve never been around those parts, so I hadn’t heard of them until recently. But, since I have more than a mild obsessions for all things pickled, I had to try this the minute I came across it. After a few rounds of pickling and some tweaks (inspired largely by an overzealous citrus tree), I came up with this really easy but ridiculously flavorful recipe.
Now, go stock up on all your cooking essentials, then head into the kitchen, make this, and share it with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!
Spicy Citrus Pickled Shrimp Recipe
For The Cooking Liquid:
- 1 medium red onions
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 garlic cloves smashed
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 1/2 pounds uncooked, deveined, and peeled shrimp, tails left on
For The Pickle:
- 1 lemon thinly sliced
- 2 red onions
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (use less if you don't like things spicy)
- 1 teaspoon unrefined cane sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley for garnish
- Tortilla chips or crackers, for serving
- For the cooking liquid: Place 8 cups water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Quarter one of the onions then add it to the water along with 4 of the bay leaves, the cinnamon stick, the garlic cloves, the kosher salt, the peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon of the celery seeds. When it boils, remove from heat, add shrimp, and cook until they’re bright-pink and firm, about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse to prevent further cooking.
- For the pickle: Place shrimp in a large nonreactive bowl. Thinly slice one lemon and quarter, and then thinly slice the remaining two onions. Add the lemon and onions to the container along with the orange juice, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, the remaining bay leaf, red pepper flakes, sugar, and remaining 1 teaspoon of celery seeds. Add the shrimp and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours to overnight.
- To serve: Just before serving, fold in the parsley. Serve with toothpicks or on crackers or chips.